Tipton churches prayerwalk the town - Word&Way

Tipton churches prayerwalk the town

TIPTON — “My eyes were opened this morning,” Walter Foster exclaimed. “We’ve been waiting for the world to change…. We’ve got to change and help change the world.”

Team members study their route map before heading out to pray over a section of Tipton on March 6. Pictured are (from left) First Baptist members Joyce Draffen and Dee Ann Brodersen, Mildred Shiipley of Prairie Grove Baptist Church, and First Baptist members Cynthia Brodersen and Peggy Richardson. (Concord Baptist Association photo)

Shipley, pastor of Prairie Grove Baptist Church, an African-American congregation, offered his observations following a two-hour prayerwalk First Baptist Church, Tipton, organized.

First Baptist is using the North American Mission Board’s evangelism emphasis, GPS or God’s Plan for Sharing. The 10-year effort kicked off this year by focusing on Easter.

Participating congregations across the country were urged to pray for and to distribute an invitation to attend Easter services to each household in their neighborhoods.

When other believers in Tipton learned about the planned March 6 prayerwalk, they wanted to participate. Members from several other churches joined First Baptist, including Prairie Grove and First United Methodist Church. Fifty-eight people were involved, from ages 7 to nearly 83.

Organizers divided the community into seven areas and assigned a small team to each.

One team specifically targeted Tipton’s public and private schools. Many of the other teams included a stop at the schools after they finished praying over their assigned areas.

One team prayed at both senior care facilities and prayed through the hallways at the senior independent living complex.

“We prayed over every single street and every single home, and that’s awesome,” GPS steering committee leader Dee Ann Brodersen said.

Several participants, including some who have spent their lives in Tipton, noted how astounded they were to discover that they didn’t know their town as well as they thought they did.

On March 14, each adult and youth Sunday School class at First Baptist stuffed small bags with an invitation and a gospel presentation. Then on March 20, members hung a bag on a door at each home.